Music News

Morningwood

Once you get past the sophomoric band name and the junior-high-level double entendres, Morningwood is pretty darned irresistible. The New York group's oft-delayed full-length debut whirls in a hormone-charged haze of fizzy new-wave cheerleading chants, punkish dance beats and vocalist Chantal Claret's little-girl-lost coos and snarls. Gil Norton's production touch feels heavy (check the protruding bass lines and super-crunchy guitars, à la his famous clients the Pixies, on a few tunes), but a better touchstone on Morningwood is Le Tigre, if that band had skipped current-events class to go smoke in the bathroom and make out with its boyfriend behind the bleachers. In particular, "Nth Degree" -- a Technicolor-keyboard explosion destined to pack dance floors -- and the punchy Joan-Jett-makes-out-with-electro-divas "Jetsetter" shine. Unfortunately, the second half of the disc can't maintain this tireless energy, so consider Morningwood the equivalent of a hot 'n' heavy smooching session at a party that doesn't end in a walk of shame the next day.